A Treatise on Magic

A Treatise on Magic, by Talle


It is a great honor to be able to write with authority about magic. But I must first praise the accomplishments of one of my predecessors, Magore Greymane. It is no mean feat to write about something that hadn’t been on parchment before. Now, some two-hundred years later, I have more to say on the subject.

Greymane knew much for his time, but he overlooked several crucial details. I have probably missed some myself.

First, magic has six elements, not four. Light and dark are elements in their own regard, even though their existence can be more fleeting than fire. These two elements are usually neutral and harmless, but a learned wizard can make use of their astonishing power. To avoid confusion, I must also clarify that shadow is a form of darkness; therefore, light often provides sources of darkness.

Second: magic is not limited to one form. Just because wizards only have control over the elements doesn’t mean there aren’t other manifestations of it. Wyverns are magical creatures in and of themselves, yet like us they are flesh and blood. Their very nature gave the Brucian kings of old reason to form close ties with the wyverns, after which the council of Wyvern Lords was formed, and the Trials with them. Few details are known of the magical natures of wyverns. One is certain, though: they are able to communicate with elementals in much the same way wizards do. Elves are another magical race, but they keep their power secret. Even less is known about dragons.

The third thing I want to make clear is possibly the most important. Magic is never forced. There is always a price to pay. Greymane made it seem that, with enough resolve, elementals would either flock to do a wizard’s bidding or bend to the lash of his mind. That is a woefully wrong idea that many a young acolyte has fallen for. Elementals always require payment of some kind or another. A wizard nearly always finds himself in debt – and then, if using the help of another element to repay his debt, becomes indebted to the second elemental. It is a vicious cycle if it continues too long. Furthermore, a wizard must keep up with his debts; elementals have no consciences, and do not negotiate. Wizards have died for the sake of late promises to elementals.

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